Wrestlemania in the Marina
The sun has nearly receded into the Pacific Ocean as you stroll out of the Presidio movie theater. You and your date have just seen a pleasant if uninspiring mainstream motion picture, and now it's time for a little entertainment sorbet to cleanse the palette -- rinse out the schmaltz, if you will. Because you've read this column, you know exactly what to do. You keep walking down Chestnut Street to the address 2456, home of Famous Sports Video III. Not only is this store the newest addition to the Marina District's entertainment spectrum, it is one-stop shopping for our country's newest fetish trend -- female wrestling and boxing.
Some would say it's about time. We've already memorized the old Irving Klaw images of pinup Bettie Page. We've already discovered the wonders of adult-diaper infantilism. Nine-to-fivers and drunken frat boys have already visited the weekly Bondage a Go Go event to receive their first whipping in front of their friends. Today's sexual climate is now seeing a distinct shift toward female "catfight"-style magazines and videos with names like Knockout Boxing II or Catfighting Nurses.
I spoke with several people in the industry, and although most agree there is a noticeable surge of interest in this stuff, nobody really knows why. Perhaps because the genre strikes an odd sexual balance in today's political climate. Women are always depicted as the obvious stronger sex, and after they fight, they often end up pulverizing a hapless guy into submission. Perhaps the combination of athletics and fetish seems to coincide with the upcoming Olympic Games. Perhaps we've always recognized the inherent appeal of a catfight, from Raquel Welch's cave brawl in One Million Years B.C. to the exercise-yard scrapes of women-in-prison movies. As my high school English teacher once deadpanned, "There's nothing worse than a couple of dames mixing it up."
Regardless of the attraction, America is currently embroiled in an Era of Catfight. The New York-based owners of Famous Sports Video III are also behind the L. Scott Sales catalog -- the nation's leading source for female wrestling, boxing, and bodybuilding videos -- which "offers everything for all connoisseurs of Erotic & Sensuous Female Fighting. ... The action is real, the girls are strong, sexy, and beautiful, and most of all they Love to Fight." Amid ads for lingerie, Everlast boxing trunks, and portable wrestling rings are still photos from the video library: Mistresses of Muscle, Robin's Surprise, Corporate Catfight Vol. 1, The Wimp.
Shot with broadcast-quality equipment using a two-camera method, each video sells for a whopping $49.95, and caters to specific fetish genres. Some specialize in nude weight lifting, others focus on pantyhose wrestling, bare-breast boxing, or face-sitting, like the release Cheek to Cheek:
"Featuring 4 girls in FACE SITTING Combat. Tied and Humiliated. Faces Smothered by the BARE ASSES of their opponents. Great wrestling combined with long and intense Face Sitting. This all NUDE Erotic Face Sitting Wrestling video is a must for all face sitting fans!"
A fan explains the appeal of a woman sitting on his face:
"I developed a fetish for it in the live sense. It's an overwhelming kind of physical experience, and so it's easy to get into the vicarious watching on videos after having developed a taste for it. I've been into S/M and dominance and so forth, and it's just a natural form of dominance. Because there's nothing more dominant, when you think about it, than sitting on somebody's face."
I mention that it seems pretty harmless.
"Most fetishes are harmless," he replies. "Most forms of sexuality are harmless, in my book."
Other videos in the L. Scott Sales catalog offer a more traditional female domination appeal, such as Mr. Macho:
"Mr. Macho takes on Michelle and Mary. Fierce and Wild tag team match. First a challenge in arm wrestling, then to the mat, where these two beautiful hard bodies show Mr. Macho that a woman's place is in the Ring and grind him into MR. WIMP."
In Corporate Catfight Vol. 1, a man discovers he must wrestle his female supervisor for a promotion: "Once in the ring, Bob winds up to be no match for this highly skilled beautiful bitch. After humiliating and defeating him, she showers off her sweaty body before returning to her next review."
It sounds bizarre, but in the world of fetish anything goes, and once something has run its course, the thrill-seekers push on through to the next challenge. We used to consider 5-inch heels on a par with the devil, but now you buy them at Nordstrom. As long as nobody gets hurt, what's the harm? San Francisco has found another way to get its jollies, and who are we to judge? Besides, if you read the catalog long enough, it starts to mutate into a weird form of cryptic, action-packed poetry:
Real Mother, Daughter
Candi takes on
her Sister April
for Two out of Three Falls.
in comes Candi and April's Mother.
Watch as their Mother
Power Slams her daughters
to the Canvas
Address all correspondence to: Slap Shots, c/o SF Weekly, 425 Brannan, San Francisco, CA 94107; phone: (415) 536-8152; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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